Knowing when to change your frying oil

Question: 

When do you decide it's time to change your frying oil? 

Answer: 

The longevity of your frying oil depends on a number of factors: what kind of oil, what are you frying, how much of it are you frying, how often and how well are you filtering, for how many hours is the oil in use and at what temperature, and how clean is the equipment?

As oil is used, food particles, high temperatures and repeated use lower the smoking point and eventually result in rancidity that gives your food off-flavors.  The trick, of course, is to maximize the number of baskets of food the oil can cook before it breaks down.

Keeping the fryer clean, filtering the oil daily (or after each meal service), keeping the oil cool and covered when not in use, keeping the temperature at 375 F or lower, replacing all the oil at once rather than periodically topping off, salting food only after frying, and using oils designed for deep frying are all helpful in extending the oil’s life.

To determine if the oil needs to be changed, commercial test kits are available.  These kits are particularly useful in operations where fried items are a major part of the menu mix or where fluctuations in volume mean that fryer use is inconsistent.  If you want to go the low-tech route, your senses can do a pretty good job as well.  Look for a darkening color or a change in viscosity, smoking or frothing, and any sort of off-odor.  At the first sign of any of these factors (hopefully not in the middle of a busy service), it is time to change the oil.

Want to ask advice guy a question?

Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.

Today's top stories

1
The parent of Taco Cabana and Pollo Tropical says it will reconsider the company’s strategic direction after learning of Tim Taft’s plan to retire at year’s end from his posts as CEO and president...
2
Despite consumer interest in healthful fare, some health-focused fast casuals are closing units. Nearly 60% of consumers place a large importance on fast casuals offering healthy options, according...
3
Over the past five years, this column has kept me current on topics ranging from culinary techniques to HR policies to pest control. As a culinary and hospitality educator, one of the things I really...
4
Hot on the heels of DRU, Domino’s delivery robot , the pizza brand is poised to try the next big thing in delivery: drones. Domino’s franchisee Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. has partnered with an...
5
The nation’s first surtax on sugared soft drinks has significantly cut consumption of the beverages and pushed consumers to drink more water, as advocates had promised, according to a just-released...
6
Despite recent efforts to simplify drive-thru menu boards, 59% of consumers say the rosters of options are difficult to read, especially when cars are lined up to order. That’s one of the findings of...
7
With all the buzz around small plates, it’s sometimes forgotten how a well-planned appetizer or starter menu can add to a foodservice operation’s bottom line. And since consumers today are open to...
8
Romano’s Macaroni Grill has named a former Noodles & Company executive its new vice president of marketing. Holly Wagstaff-Bellomo, who had served as vice president of marketing at Noodles &...
9
The struggling Cosi fast-casual chain said it has fired CEO and President RJ Dourney and accepted the resignation of CFO Miguel Rossy-Donovan. The franchisor says Rossy-Donovan will continue in his...
10
Blueberries: plump, juicy, low in calories and packed with antioxidants, they’ve long been a staple in sweet breakfast and dessert dishes such as pancakes, cobblers, muffins and pies. But more than a...